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post #8 of Old 05-11-2008
MedSailor
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I've lived aboard for 7 years now. Spent a few months in an apartment in the middle of that and nearly went nuts. Living on the water is great!

In that 7 years I have been in and (nearly) out of love with living on a boat. What made me fall out of love was the accumulation of stuff. If you allow yourself to bring too much stuff aboard then pretty soon you can't find anything you need and you can't clean up your boat because you run out of homes for things before you're finished. I can't tell you how many times I did without something because I couldn't find it in all the overstuffed cupboards even though I knew it was in there somewhere...

This same problem, of having more stuff than places for said stuff, was also what made my boat un-sailable. I did go sailing a few times in year 5 but it took 3 hours to prepare the boat! I can't tell you how many days of sailing I missed because it was just too much effort.

The way around the problem is twofold I found. One, think about where you are going to put something and how to secure it for sailing BEFORE you buy it. I would also make a habit of seeing something shiny that I really wanted and waiting a few days to buy it. Very often I would forget about it, which really meant that I didn't need it at all.

The other thing I did was every spring or summer, I would empty all my possessions out onto the dock and hose out the boat. I did this on a large 31ft boat and it was a great way to keep accumulation of crud from happening and also to throw out the stuff in the bottom of the locker under the bunk that you didn't know you had.

I would also recommend getting a storage unit (or used U-haul) and putting extra stuff in it as you make the transition. I have things that would just take up way too much space on the boat such as camping/backpacking gear, archery gear, scuba gear etc.

I still get a kick out of telling people that I live on a boat and seeing their reactions. Everything from "wow that must be great" to "how are you going to avoid getting scurvy" (I'm not kidding). I also like how people as how long I've been doing it and are surprised when I say 7 years. I suppose the novelty "still" hasn't worn off.

MedSailor

I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
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